Fatwa: Shaykh Muhammad Yusuf April 10, 2006Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Shari'ah.
EDIT: It was inappropriate for us to post this "fatwa" online in the absence of information about the issuing scholar. We did so after checking that its contents were acceptable according to mainstream scholarship, and also wrote the provisos you see below, not endorsing the scholar since we don't know him. However, until this matter is cleared up, we have removed the document in question.
We received the below-linked fatwa* by e-mail, but unfortunately there wasn't much information about the scholar issuing it. His name is Shaykh Muhammad Yusuf, and I assume that it's not the same one mentioned here earlier. In fact, the signature at the end says (in Arabic): Muhammad Yusuf al-Husayni. If anyone has information about him, please do inform us.
Fatwa Concerning the Sanctity of Family in Islam [removed temporarily]
The fatwa is quite general in its scope, discussing the concept of family in Islam, then coming round to state that "all forms of homosexual practice [are] disordered, sinful and entirely forbidden and for every Muslim, male or female, being contrary to the plan of nature ordained by God". The fatwa also warns against the idea of "Reformation" in re-casting the religion to suit some people's desires. It speaks particularly to Muslims in Britain, and the following paragraph is interesting:
Therefore we rule that while the personal and sexual habits of other non-Muslim religious and secular communities in Britain are of no concern to us for comment, these communities being of themselves, nor of relevance to the internal practice of the Muslim umma in this country, for our ownselves among our own Muslim brothers and sisters, we are to safeguard the purity of the din [religion] of Islam, the sanctity of the Muslim family, and our faith’s moral teaching against zina [extra-marital sex] in all its forms.
EDIT: In fact, this point raised my eyebrows, because I wonder to what extent it is "of no concern for us for comment": surely we should be clear on our principles, and also recognise the adverse effect that homosexuality can have on society – OUR society, here in Britain, where we live! It's true that we should work more within our scope, i.e. the Muslim community, but the sentiment in the above quote seems overly secular and designed to shut up people like me. If the LGBT activists would leave the Muslims well alone, then it could be argued that they are of no relevance "to the internal practice of the Muslim umma in this country". As things stand, the writer is mistaken, in my humble opinion. And if he is indeed the same chap promoted by Peter Tatchell, then he is surely not sticking to his own stated policy of "no comment"!
While being a useful addition to the surprisingly sparse body of statements by scholars on this subject, this fatwa falls short of addressing details. Yes, we need it to be stated more and more that homosexual acts are forbidden. But many people need more answers, as their questions are abundant. Scholars should pay attention and issue authoritative fiqh clarifications, thereby closing the door to ignoramuses and charlatans.
* For those who don't know: a fatwa is a scholarly pronouncement on a new question, drawn from the Islamic jurisprudence based upon the Qur'an and the Sunnah (prophetic tradition). It is not a death-warrant, though the latter might be an example of a fatwa. I'm not sure that the statement published is, in the strictest sense, a fatwa, rather than a scholarly exposition of a general topic.